Item 8: Presentation — Faculty Response to the HLC Report
Chair Mazzochi talks about her pleasure in turning the floor over to CODFA to report on this. No time limits will be imposed because we rely on quality faculty to deliver quality instruction. It is important for faculty to speak as long as they need to.
Glenn Hansen – -before continuing with his presentation, Hansen requests that Elizabeth Anderson be invited to the Closed Session at the end of tonight’s BoT meeting, together with Faculty Association representation, especially since members of the Administration will be in the Closed Session. (Mazzochi consults with COD attorney but answer is not given)
Glenn Hansen’s comments
I’m Glenn Hansen, president of the Faculty Association and Faculty Senate.
We have been invited by the Board of Trustees to present the Faculty Perspective on what are the most important issues facing the College of DuPage in the present. Specifically, COD on probation, Higher Learning Commission’s Report, COD’s response, and where do we go from here. Thank you for this opportunity.
We need to recognize that we are at point of heightened anxiety within the institution. Nerves are raw and tension is high in some areas. We are all hearing what is being said except through the filter of our own perspectives.
The materials that we are presenting tonight have been approved by Faculty Senate or in the case of the VNC by a vote of full-time faculty. This is not an attack on individuals by Glenn and Richard. In all honesty, that is a misunderstanding that lies beneath many of the internal problems at COD. Too often the question is asked of us “who do you represent?”. It is a larger voice speaking, not a few individuals. In preparing this presentation, we began creating a document in response to the HLC findings during winter break. The work of that committee was given to Faculty Senate 2 weeks ago. The Senators then reviewed and provided input via commentary on the discussion board. Tonight we are focusing on the academic issues where faculty are mentioned.
As a point of clarity though, let me say that not everyone will support what is being presented or positions taken in the past. We are not a monolithic unit, we are diverse; including how we view what has happened and will happen. Some faculty say we are all wrong and we are too harsh on administrators, other faculty say we need to be more militant and demand more.
During the last few months the full-time faculty have held a series forums that shared individual faculty member’s vision about Moving COD Forward. A diverse selection of our colleagues have spoken from their hearts and their intellect. The words were not couched in gentle phrases. I know it was difficult for Administrators, who faithfully attended, to sit and listen to a serious critique of where we are. I commend them for their strength in attending all three sessions. I hope they heard what was being said and thought about the critique provided.
If it helps, consider this presentation an evaluation, yes it can hurt. Tonight is a call for more evaluation. Not only should there be a new formal evaluation of process and people, but we each need to be our toughest critic and more closely examine what we do.
At the end of the day, only administrators decide many issues that operate the institution and have the authority to do so. Even SCG, which has moved back towards the better Leadership Council model, makes recommendation to the president not decisions. If have you have the power, you are accountable for the outcome.
That brings us to tonight.
Timeline and process of VNC
It’s important to share with you how we reached a vote of no confidence.
For years various faculty members had called for a vote of no confidence, on Dr. Breuder, the BoT, the BoT Chair. Each time that came to Senate we formed a committee to look at the charges. A VNC is never taken lightly and circumstance must be appropriate. Each prior time we decide the choice was not yet. The frustration was there and growing for most of his 6 years at COD.
In June when the e-mail story broke the faculty were outraged, not by the politics but the challenge this was to our institution values of Integrity and Honesty. We held a Senate meeting with an open forum where the idea of a VNC germinated. We again formed a committee to investigate the pros and cons, with a different outcome this time.
In July a preliminary recommendation from the committee came forward with a document that was deep and impressive. It moved Senate to asked for a final document by Aug 18.
On the first afternoon of summer InService, Senate met and voted unanimously to move to a full faculty Vote. We announced the Vote to all faculty at our Fall assembly 2 days later.
Prior to the September 10th Vote, we held forums, met repeatedly with IEA Legal Counsel, and held a lengthy discussion on our private discussion board. On Labor Day I sent an e-mail to all faculty about the VNC election. It reached administrators eventually. That e-mail coupled with the results of the Vote tore apprt our relationship with administrators putting it into the deep freeze or the fires of Hell.
We notified the Chairman Birt on September 18th after the vote was certified by Faculty Senate.
What followed was silence except for the inevitable eruption of denial from Dr. Breuder. There was never any discussion of the VNC details with the Board. Not until the day Dr Breuder announced his retirement was there a meeting scheduled with Birt and McGuire. That meeting was cancelled before the announcement.
We now find our VNC document referred to as motivation to retire Dr. Breuder, But, there was never a discussion of detail with a Trustee. Thank you for tonight’s opportunity, but at this point the document is most valuable when used to measure the health of our current culture. Breuder is gone.
COMMENTS CONTINUE BY
Richard Jarman- VP, CODFA
reviews the VNC, pointing out most important aspects.
-Misuse of the referendum money and consequences ($20 MM e-mail)
-Unecessary revamp of the 2008 FMP carpark/bioswales ($16 MM)
-Excessive tree planting program and attendant costs of maintenance ($100 K water bill in summer 2012)
-Contempt for sustainability in landscaping and use of resources (elimination of community education farm)
-Appearances over education in eliminating the east side prairie ($9MM in 2012)
-Vanity projects (Waterleaf) intead of intructional space
-The chronology wall and presendential suite (over $200K)
-Executive changing room in PE Center
Substantive issues:coercive, not collaborative
-Diversion of educational funds to build unnecessary balance fund (underspending of all educational budgets)
-Inappropriate conduct and statements (“shucking and jiving” directed towards Vilalge of GE)
-History of diminishing faculty (qtd as saying he would replace FT by PT and save money)
-Pbstructive bargaining and use of College resources agains the faculty
Sharing confidential negotiation information with the Press
-Climate of fear
-Retribution against the Courier advisor
-Coercive workplace identified in the PACE survey 2014
COMMENTS CONTINUE BY GLEN HANSEN
As part of the Trustees plan to rehabilitate Dr. Breuder, Dianne Mcguire called me twice in January 2014. She had a five point plan including addressing the faculty issues reflected in the PACE survey. Full-time Faculty results were significantly lower in many categories. These 4 were the worse.
The directive was given to Dr. Breuder, who gave it to Dr. Collins, who contacted me and asked me how I wanted to handle this. He offered to let pick representatives from Administration as well as Faculty. My choice was to select the elected Senators and asked him to select the Administrators he wanted.
The small group of 10 or 12 began meeting on Friday mornings. Faculty compiled and shared 110 pages of faculty responses, attempting to drill down to why were the negative answers given.
The committee talked of the document as a possible description of the New College of DuPage.
Agreement was found around some concepts such as COD should not be talked about as a business but instead as College and that Dr. Breuder was a problem for all.
Some of the recommendations include:
- Committees should follow the continuous improvement process
- Shared Governace should include the President and all constituencies.
- Giving representation to Non-Cabinet Administrators.
- Stop saying the problems are only coming from a small faction of the faculty
- Stop blaming the past negotiations as the source of our anger.
- Replace the President’s Communication Committee with Senate
- Elevate the importance of Academic Affairs in relation to other divisions.
The results were not earth shattering but they were a start at improving relations.
Regrettably we have slipped into an environment where we may be viewed as small group of malcontents again.
(Discusses the problems involving SLEA and Continuing Education — a poaching of credits by CE –a crossover not viewed as positive by the faculty. Hansen explains why faculty guard the credit-bearing classes carefully. He indicates why there needs to be a clear distinction between credit-bearing classes from those offered in Continuing Education and asks for a clear vision of the difference,. The faculty do not want that kind of crosswalk between credit and non-credit bearing classes. We must make sure that we evaluate the process and assure the HLC that it will not happen again)
RICHARD JARMAN CONTINUES
HLC Letter — Issues and Recommendations
Criterion Two, Core Component 2.a
-Administration should demonstrate ethical practices by:
addressing the issues with integrity and fairness such as responding to grievances in a meaningful way
- Follow through on negotiating the MOUs agreed to negotiate in October 2015
- honor, respect and use existing college structures and faculty-led committees
- -Administration/HR alone should not be in charge of ethics training
- -Implement a new administrator evaluation process modeled on the process used for faculty. Administrators cannot continue to select their evaluators.
- Criterion Five, Core Component 5.B
- Full participation in shared governance
- Bargain an objective matrix for fair coordination loads
- Implement faculty chairs where needed
- Institute faculty directors for instructional programs like Honors, Learning Communities, Service Learning, etc.
- Reorganize the upper administration and redistribute work to faculty chairs (recommended by ACE survey committee) No reorganization implemented until the new president is installed.
- Develop and provide training for academic administrators that will also be attended by faculty, especailly on the IELRA, contract interpretation, and collective bargaining matters.
- Reimplement the Administrator Recruitment program
- Evaluate academic administrators for their abilities to teach in the modern classroom and provide training as needed.
- Charge the Counseling faculty to conduct a thorough evaluation of RESET/ESEIP amd present their recommendations to their administration and to the Board
- Criterion Three, Core Component 3.a
- Develop an administrative model that clearly defines and delineates the Continuing Education program as distinct from the academic program
- The Board Academic Committee should have a role in establishing distinction between Academic and CE programs to ensure there is no overlap and confusion
- Develop a Continuing Ed Advisory Committee that would report to the President and to the Board Academic Committee.
(background slide reads:
Where are we today? Relationships need repairing. My comments in the Tribune on December 18th were heard as an attack on “his team” and moved us back to square one. Discussions of a retreat are on hold and the Administration has withdrawn from the agreement to craft 4 MOUs that would benefit both sides until things have settle down.
I’m proposing meetings of 2 Trustees, Administrators, and Faculty Leadership for a frank conversation.
If we are to move forward we must evaluate what we have done and how we got to this point. WE must examine why. WE cannot simply say it was one person and all is good now. WE cannot say everything is fine, we’ll be good in two years.
We must evaluate the processes that allowed us to reach probation.
We must evaluate the discussions that lead us to the decisions.
We must evaluate the personnel. We evaluate students, they evaluate faculty. All classified and managerial staff members are evaluated. All administrators are evaluated. However, there is a weakness here. Their process allows administrators to select the 8 people evaluating them, unless the process has changed and we’ve not heard. Four years ago in one of my first meetings with then VPAA Collins, I asked for there to be a robust evaluation process of administrators based on the model applied to Faculty. Two years ago I sent VPAA Kartje, documents Faculty Senate drafted as a suggestion. To date there has been no change that we are aware of. Having a better evaluation process may actually improve relationships. But it will also lead to responsibility and accountability.
Responsibility is Shared Institutional Value. It is about owning your actions. We all make mistakes, we have to admit there were errors in judgment and decisions to ourselves and others. We would not be on probation if someone had said these HLC cited activities were not a good idea, “I will not participate or do that”. Today, you might be surprised at the positive reaction and results, if someone said “I should tried to stop the excessive abuse of house accounts for non-college business or I said that while it was legal it was not right”
Accountability a companion to and is the outcome from responsibility in our culture. Everyone makes a choice and is accountable for their action. Having a sense of responsibility for what we do makes accountability a natural component of our Shared Institutional Values.
We have outlined actions in our presentation and many more in our documents. We have called for various actions in other presentations. I have always stated that I believe the actions, not proposed actions or changed outcomes were expected by HLC. We need to evaluate the broken processes and redesign them so there is no doubt we are serious about getting off probation and these things will never happen again.